Jun
03

I-440 Graffiti Mushrooming Beyond Control

As reported earlier here, the City of Raleigh has an excellent attitude about fighting graffiti. It is a high priority to remove any markings within 24 hours, as this serves as a deterrent to additional graffiti. Unfortunately the State of North Carolina’s Transportation Department does not share this policy, and has allowed graffiti on I-440 to explode at an alarming rate.

I called the department and spoke with someone who explained that the department’s highest priority is maintaining roadways, and that graffiti is not a high priority this week given the number of roadway situations due to the rains. Sorry, but the state has ignored ALL graffiti markings on I-440 since mid March, and it sure hasn’t rained for that long. I also explained that painting over graffiti on red brick walls with beige paint does not quite accomplish the goals set forth by the city.

PLEASE take a moment to call the transportation department at (919) 733-2191 and explain that you care about the beauty of Raleigh and are concerned about this exponentially growing problem. This needs to be nipped in the bud before some idiot tries to argue that this type of vandalism is “art” and should remain.

Of course, if you spot graffiti in Raleigh that is not on an interstate highway, contact the City of Raleigh immediately at 919-996-6001 or email .

Apr
27

Introducing, the Raleigh Restaurant Price Book

money pile I’ve been doing some organizing, and figured I may as well share some data with the gogo crowd. After compiling all of our dining expenses in the recent past, I put a list together based on per capita costs of our restaurant trips, and ranked them from highest to least.

This gives a fairly scientific comparison of restaurant prices from the area. There are a few surprises, no doubt, and the list is by no means an indicator of my favorite restaurants in the area. The list will hopefully allow readers to get a feel for how the costs of certain restaurants stack up against others, given fairly constant conditions. The list will live in the new tab that appears at the top of every gogo page, and will be constantly updated as we are out and about. Any thoughts or additions? Feel free to comment at the page’s comment section.

Apr
24

NCMA Begins New Chapter With Celebration

When You Go…
When venturing out to the NC Museum of Art’s Grand Opening Adventure, there are a few things you should know before going:

Wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of walking, and some surfaces are not solid and stable. Be particularly careful when the long, winding paved path from the parking lots inexplicably becomes a gravel path. Many older patrons had difficulty in this section.

Take a camera. You can now take photos in the galleries. Don’t use your flash, though. Lighting is excellent in the galleries, so your photos will likely have better results using no flash anyway.

Preview the Grand Opening Program (.pdf). It has a complete schedule of events and highlights some key areas that should not be missed.

You will need a free, Timed Ticket to enter the new West Building this weekend. Tickets are completely sold out for the weekend with the exception of Saturday at 9pm.

Download the mp3 audio tour (121Mb) and Sound Track (21Mb) tour at home before you go. That’s right, you no longer have to rent those crappy audio players the museum offers. You can download the dialogue in advance and listen with your own mp3 player. Additionally the selected exhibits with audio commentary are accessible via cell phone. The call is a local call using normal minutes on your plan. Also be sure to charge your phone before entering.

Plan for Wifi. The facility has free wifi. Be sure to check in with Foursquare or and add #ncmaOPEN to your tweets.

Going during lunch? Plan on eating there. There is a food garden this weekend located between the West and East buildings, behind the giant tent. Vendors include Big Oak Catering, Chubby’s Tacos, Hereghty Heavenly Delicious, Neomonde, Only Burger, and more. They all take credit cards. Iris, the Museum’s new restaurant, is not open during the Grand Opening Festival.

Ladies and Gentlemen….your new N.C. Museum of Art!IMG_8446Excuse me. That isn’t right. How about this?

IMG_8447Oh! My bad. How about this?

ArtMuseumPardon me! There has apparently been some sort of malfunction. I now present YOUR new North Carolina Museum of Art:

20100423-02Yes. That’s actually it. After 3 years of construction, the museum’s new West Building is finally open. The 127,000 square foot building is the new home for the museum’s permanent collection. Designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, the $72.2million, one-story building features 362 skylights as well as 50% exterior walls of glass to provide 65,000 square feet of daylit galleries. The building’s heating and cooling systems perform at 45% over ASHRAE standards, and its roof water runs to a 90,000 gallon cistern to irrigate gardens and replenish pools.

20100423-29R There are five courtyards accessible from the galleries, and all are paved with loose grey gravel (so be cautious of unsure footing). The courtyards feature several black fountains in which lilies have been planted. While the design near the building is cold, stark, and industrial, the pattern fades as the properties approach the surrounding grass-covered landscapes.

The hallmark of the West building is the Rodin Court and Gardens, made possible by numerous generous contributions, none greater than those of Iris Cantor. The interior portion of this exhibit finds itself in large node connecting several galleries. Oddly the numerous displays of small Rodin pieces on waist-high platforms are reminiscent of a retail setting.

20100423-17 Elsewhere in the West building galleries holding American, Judaic, European, Classical, African, and Modern portions of the master collection can be found. Highlights include a new “spool of thought” on the Mona Lisa, three Monet holdings, the Standing Hanukkah Lamp, and the chilling “Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian” (Michael Richards, pictured). Be absolutely sure that you read the placard for this piece.

The renovated East Building houses the box office, special events, offices, research library, auditorium, and three renovated and expanded exhibition spaces.

There are two schools of thought on the building’s daylit design. One is that a museum design should not distract the patrons and simply provide a framework for appreciating the works in an unbiased environment. By letting as much natural light in and providing a neutral interior, the colors of the works appear as they were intended, and allow a clear interpretation. In order to provide such a light system, a one-story design is used in a setting where land is abundant.

20100423-34The other school of thought is that the house of great works should also be a great work unto itself, inspiring patrons as future artists no matter the current exhibition.

I tend to be in the second camp. While I personally am more inspired by kinetic arts, the one static art that moves me is architecture. How about the new Taubman Museum of Art (photo) in little bitty Roanoke, VA? Pretty inspiring, eh? I saw some works by some Picasso guy in the New York Guggenheim (photo) and was completely moved by the building, but can’t tell you much about the art on the walls. OK, that’s an exaggeration. However, it should help to explain how disappointed I am with this building. Clearly the building’s strength is its interior but, to me, it looks like a Crate & Barrel store (yes, Apple ripped them off). It is the coldest building complex I’ve ever encountered, and that includes N.C. State Biochemistry classrooms and several prison facilities in which I worked.

The bleak exterior unfortunately appears to have been stricken with the overwhelming bashfulness that besets this city’s architecture. As we drive our visitors around Raleigh, we will have to omit this $75M investment as it can only be appreciated with a significant investment of time and energy.

While the West building certainly earns the spotlight as the primary facility in the grounds, there is an extreme visual disconnection with the 1970’s era East Building. By no means should the museum have felt that they were locked into the existing visual theme (colors, materials, proportions, etc.). However, the West building should have carried some new reinterpretation of the East building, no matter how minor, in order to tie the complex together visually. The architect missed a fine opportunity to make this a stronger complex than it is.

That said, the overwhelming response from dozens of patrons I encountered was that the facility is a success. The West Building is a result of an incredible amount of work by a talented crew. It is a quality building that affords patrons a quality experience on par with the country’s best art museums. For the entire State of North Carolina, it is a fantastic book with an unfortunate cover that should not be missed by its people and their visitors.

Apr
09

N.C. Museum of Art Announces Outdoor Entertainment Series

ncma The North Carolina Museum of Art today announced their concert and film season for the upcoming summer. All events take place at the museum’s outdoor amphitheater.

4/12 Update: Now with Google goodness! Click on the Google Calendar button beside each event to add it to your Google Calendar. Another option is to click the “Calendars” tab at the top of the page and subscribe to the gogoraleigh DoIt Calendar.


CONCERTS


check[1] The Swell Season – Friday, May 21, 8 pm. Tickets: $10-$30
check[1] NCMA and PineCone present: An Evening with Patty Griffin and Special Guest Buddy Miller – Wednesday, June 2, 8 pm. Tickets: $10-$30
check[1] Tift Merritt – Saturday, June 5, 8 pm. Tickets: $9-$25
check[1] NCMA and North Carolina Opera present Casual Classics II: Opera and Broadway in the Museum Park – Saturday, June 12, 8 pm Tickets: $10-$40
check[1] Red Clay Ramblers – Saturday, July 24, 8 pm. Tickets: $9-$25
check[1] Joan Baez – Sunday, August 1, 7 pm. Tickets: $10-$35
check[1] Los Lobos – Saturday, August 7, 8 pm. Tickets: $10-$30
check[1]

Dan Zanes and Friends – Sunday, August 15, 4 pm. Tickets: $9-$18

check[1] Open Dream Ensemble: Peril on the Red Planet Saturday, August 28, 4 pm. Tickets: $5-$10
check[1] Paperhand Puppet Intervention – Friday, September 10, 6:30 pm. Saturday, September 11, 6:30 pm. Tickets: $7.50-$15

MOVIES

check[1] Friday, June 4, 9 pm – Invictus, (2009) PG-13
check[1] Friday, June 11, 9 pm – (500) Days of Summer, (2009) PG-13
check[1] Friday, June 18, 9 pm – The Damned United, (2009) R
check[1] Saturday, June 19, 9 pm – Family Movie Night: Monsters vs. Aliens, (2009) PG
check[1] Friday, June 25, 9 pm – It’s Complicated, (2009) R
check[1] Saturday, June 26, 9 pm – Up in the Air, (2009) R
check[1] Friday, July 9, 9 pm – The Hurt Locker, (2009) R
check[1] Saturday, July 10, 9 pm – The Blind Side, (2009) PG-13
check[1] Friday, July 16, 9 pm – Where the Wild Things Are, (2009) PG
check[1] Saturday, July 17, 9 pm – Star Trek, (2009) PG-13
check[1] Friday, July 23, 9 pm – Julie & Julia, (2009) PG-13
check[1] Friday, July 30, 9 pm – An Education, (2009) PG-13
check[1] Saturday, July 31, 9 pm – Family Movie Night: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, (2009) PG
check[1] Friday, August 6, 9 pm – Sherlock Holmes, (2009) PG-13
check[1] Friday, August 13, 8:30 pm – Bright Star, (2009) PG
check[1] Saturday, August 14, 8:30 pm – Fantastic Mr. Fox, (2009) PG
check[1] Friday, August 20, 8:30 pm – The Big Lebowski, (1999) R
check[1] Saturday, August 21, 8:30 pm – Crazy Heart, (2009) R
check[1] Friday, August 27, 8:30 pm – The Breakfast Club, (1985) R
Mar
15

Follow The NCAA Tourney

images[1] Once again gogoraleigh is your home for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Schedule. It is a Google Calendar which contains all 33 First Round games. Keep following it, though, as the next round games will be added as soon as they are determined. Subscribe in Google Calendar, on your iPhone, or other capable device!

The Feeds

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